by Geoff Rand
Ever wonder where the government’s dietary recommendations come from? A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association uncovered the shocking truth behind what would become the decades long recommendation of eating a low-fat diet.
Researchers were able to obtain documents from the Harvard University archives that showed how the Sugar Research Foundation funded research of three Harvard scientists with the stated goal of refuting other studies that pointed to a correlation between coronary heart disease and sugar and carbohydrate intake. The sugar industry feared that scientific evidence that their product was harmful would hurt sales, so they sought to place the blame on something else.
The research began in 1965 and each scientist was paid the equivalent of $50,000 today by the SRF. The SRF funded, guided, and reviewed the research of the scientists making sure the results painted sugar in a positive light and pointed our chubby little sausage fingers at fat as the cause of heart disease.
One of the Harvard researchers went on to become the head of nutrition at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where in 1977, he helped to create the government’s dietary guidelines. What followed were many years of vilification of fats and obliviousness to sugar playing any role in contributing to diseases and obesity.
While many changes have been made dealing with disclosure of funding sources of research, the practices of big business attempting to influence health guidelines continues. In 2015, the New York Times obtained emails detailing Coca-Cola’s relationship with studies aiming to minimize the effects of sugary drinks on obesity. The Associated Press also found emails from a candy corporation that funded and influenced studies to show that children who eat sweets have healthier body weights than children who don’t.
So, if our government guidelines are being tainted by the interests of corporations that have no care of what effect their product has on our health, who are we to turn to for health advice? The only place we can go to is one free of outside influence, a time before all these diseases and health conditions existed…the diet of early man, Paleo. Just another reason to eat a healthy diet of unprocessed, natural foods.